Today I am participating in the Five Golden Braids Blog Tour. What is Five Golden Braids you’re probably wondering? So glad you asked. I’ll tell you.
The Golden Braids are five retellings of Rapunzel by five different authors, each unique in tone, setting, and moral. This collection has something in it for every reader. Several of the authors will be giving away paperbacks of their books for US entrants only, and you can find out more on Kendra’s blog. (She’s the awesome lady doing all the organizing for this exciting event) You will also find the full schedule here as well!!
Sarah Pennington is here with us today to tell us about her book and share an amazing guest post. So don’t go anywhere because we have some amazing stuff to share with you. I had the honor of designing the cover for Sarah’s book; not only was she a pleasure to work with, but I fell in love with her story idea and can’t wait to read it for myself. To get things started, a little bit about this amazing story.
Can you save someone who doesn’t know if she’s alive?
Breen lives locked away, separated from the world by the walls of her clock tower and the machine of gems, gears, and magic that replaces her heart. That is, until an unexpected visitor appears in her tower, offering a dangerous gift: freedom. His promises awaken hope for a life unbound by the tower walls — but she knows that if he learns about her heart, it’s only a matter of time before he turns on her.
Josiah is powerless. Though he’s the crown prince of the mighty Chanian empire, he feels stifled by his inability to protect his people from the schemes of corrupt nobles. When he discovers a girl trapped in a locked clock tower, he thinks he’s finally found a problem he can solve . . . but more than just walls keep her captive.
From the royal palace to the streets of Rivenford to the tops of clock towers, secrets hide around every corner in this steampunk retelling of Rapunzel. Breen and Josiah hold the keys to each other’s struggles — if they can break down the barriers that divide them.
Now, for a few words from Sarah herself!
by Sarah Pennington
What’s a fairy tale without True Love’s Kiss? Without a Prince Charming and a princess (in spirit, if not in rank) to fall for each other? Without a wedding and a happily-ever-after?
Well, historically speaking, fairly common. While many fairy tales do involve true love and romance, many more do not. Read through the original Grimm fairy tales and you’ll find an awful lot of stories that are more interested in either fantastic happenings or relationships between families and comrades than they are in love stories. Even the romantic ones don’t necessarily end with a kiss, at least not in the original version. For example, the original Rapunzel ends with True Love’s Tears, not True Love’s Kiss.
And, narratively speaking, a fairy tale without a romance can be both realistic and satisfying. After all, real people don’t need a significant other to have happy, fulfilling lives, so why should fictional characters’ stories be considered incomplete if they’re not at least in a relationship? In some cases, a romantic relationship might even distract from the main plot and themes of a book.
But Sarah, you may say, romance is important! It’s divinely commanded! We need more stories that show good, healthy romances! And to you I reply: I absolutely agree! Romance (and marriage) are pretty much essential to society, although not everyone is meant to experience either, and marriage is designed by God to be good and reflect the relationship between His Son and the church. But, in a sense, that just heightens the importance of making sure the romances I write aren’t just there for the sake of being there. Rather, they should support the themes of the story and fit the characters’ plot arcs.
And that’s the biggest reason why you won’t find a romance in Mechanical Heart. Breen doesn’t need a love interest who’ll sweep her off her feet and carry her out of her tower. She needs a friend who’ll remind her of the truths she’s forgotten. Tying her emotional journey to an unnecessary romantic relationship would, in a way, cheapen both her character arc and the romance — and it would ignore the tremendous power and value in simple friendship. As for Josiah, he may want to be the figurative knight in shining armor — but he’s currently more interested in changing the world than winning someone else’s heart. For him, a romance would just be a distraction.
Of course, none of this means that I’m opposed to writing romantic relationships. Romance, like everything else, has its place, and it can be really fun to write. But its place isn’t in Mechanical Heart, and that’s just fine.
About the Author:
Sarah Pennington has been writing stories since before she actually knew how to write, and she has no intention of stopping anytime soon. She is perpetually in the middle of writing at least one or two novels, most of which are in the fantasy and fairy tale retelling genres. Sarah’s first published work, Blood in the Snow, received a perfect score and Special Unicorn status in Rooglewood Press’s Five Poisoned Apples contest. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys knitting, photography, and trying to conquer her massive to-be-read list.
Find her online at: Website || Blog || Second Blog || Goodreads || Facebook || Amazon